ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- Ingles Markets is bucking supermarket trends in video with the opening of its 100th video rental department in a store near Atlanta.
The opening last month is considered a company milestone. "Department No. 100 is open and running, and we're very proud of it," said video specialist Harold Grogan.
"We have plans for future departments as well," he said. "We're replacing a lot of older stores and adding new stores and new equipment."
Ingles, which opened its first store in Asheville in 1963, now operates 209 supermarkets in six Southeastern states, as well as 78 neighborhood shopping centers.
As part of the expansion, "we're changing our video departments to media centers," said Grogan. "We've tied in bookstores with video, offering magazines, paperbacks and hardbacks." The centers have inlaid wooden floors and wooden benches, he added, as well as monitors on which customers can preview upcoming video releases.
The chain's video growth has occurred over a relatively short period. "We've been in video for approximately five years," said Grogan. "We started with one department, then added another and another."
Grogan expects this growth to continue. "Supermarket video has been slowing down for some, but we're giving it 100% and we've had an increase this year," he said, adding that "copy depth and DVD" have been drivers.